Agua Fria, today a true ghost town, was principally a placer mining camp divided into Lower Agua Fria and Upper Agua Fria. The name was derived from two springs of cold water about a quarter mile below Lower Agua Fria (the principal town). It may have been there that John C. Fremont’s men discovered gold in 1849. In 1850 it was a booming trade center and final destination for many new arrivals in California. It was there, too, that James Burney, first county sheriff had established a log cabin which served as a jail of sorts.
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